“Mr Jean Louis Dumas from Hermes approved my first changing model of a Kelly tradition and Kelly bag which he liked very much and that’s why today in the brand Hermes my name is on their design list with this Kelly Lakis bag.”
The Kelly bag is mostly known for its clean lines and simple features, but in 2004, Hermès decided to add something more to the bags aesthetic: two front zip pockets and one rear zip pocket. The Kelly Lakis bag also features a wider Amazone canvas and a leather strap.
Adding the outside zipper pockets transformed the look from the classic box look to a sportier and more relaxed one.
Jean Paul Gaultier, who was with Hermès for seven years, designed the Kelly Lakis to introduce a spin on the timeless Kelly. He was the creative director and designer for Hermès’ women’s ready-to-wear fashion at that time.
Gaultier is known for celebrating androgyny and combining haute couture with street wear and pop culture looks. This Limited Edition Kelly represents this marriage between seemingly two extremes perfectly.
The Hermes Kelly Lakis bag was originally designed as an exclusive style for Lakis Gavalas, a Greek businessman, fashion guru, and well-known collector of extraordinary Hermes bags. Approved by Jean Louis Dumas, the design was later released to the general public in 2006.
Gavalas didn’t choose fashion as a career in the beginning. His first job at 17 was at a furrier who made school bags, where he displayed his talent for fashion for the first time. At the age of 20 he went to Italy as a dancer and started working in Italian television. He discovered the world of fashion there and started working as a fashion show choreographer. Later he started collaborating with Italian designers and in the end he opened his own shop in Greece.
The Kelly Lakis is very popular, especially the full leather line from this Limited Edition. Even though it is a popular bag, Hermès fans either love it or hate. Most people prefer the classic box look, but there are many Kelly Lakis lovers out there and usually this Limited Edition Kelly is gone fast, once it finds its way into the resale market.
The Lakis comes in different sizes, materials and colors. Most commonly, you can find a Lakis in a combination of Toile canvas and leather. Hermès itself describes the Kelly Lakis like this:
“A zipper on a Kelly? How shocking! One might as well draw a moustache on the Mona Lisa. Well, yes, we did: we dared to alter the face of the Kelly by adding zippered exterior pockets in the front. The Kellylakis bag – the Kelly’s “enhanced” version – comes in all sizes, be it itsy-bitsy (15 cm) or fit for the Olympics (50 cm).’’ Hermès